Depth of field, field of view and aperture on small sensor cameras.

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rich_cx139 Senior Member • Posts: 2,482
Depth of field, field of view and aperture on small sensor cameras.

I guess that the following is well known - and I know of course about it in practical terms - but I haven't seen it  written down recently:

For the same field of view, subject distance and required depth of field, the aperture that you need to set on a particular camera/sensor is such that the ISO "noise" will be be same regardless of sensor size.

This is related to where diffraction onset occurs.

An example, photo of a group say 3m away with, say, 2.3 to 4.2m depth of field

Taking a Z6/oly em1.2/ Nikon 1J5 or V3 using 50mm / 25 mm / 18.5 mm focal lengths, the apertures required are f8 / f4 / ~ f3.2 so ISO need to be 0 stops / 2 stops / 2.7 ish stops LOWER than full frame at the same shutter of course.  OK the m43 is 4:3 not 3:2 so angle of view is only approximately the same.

This means that you will get similar noise in all three cases on all three sensor types unless you hit base ISO on any.

So, other things being equal, for photos of people, street, landscapes etc etc ( and macro/ close up ) where you want to control the depth of field to get a certain subject isolation, there is no particular advantage in this one respect of FF over smaller sensors.

In the real world, one usually has one's back up against the wall ( in dull light or needing to use fast shutters etc )  simply because you haven't got wide enough apertures available.

You can mitigate this to some extent for teles using the FT1 - its at the wide end where the struggle is.

Nikon 1 V3 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS1 (Lumix DMC-FT1)
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